Ilitha Park seniors hit their stride

As thousands across the country marked Freedom Day on Thursday April 27, members of Sinovuyo Old Age Home, in Ilitha Park, took part in a 5km fun walk where the performance of 72-year-old Bukelwa Ntamo caught everyone by surprise.

She strolled across the finish line effortlessly and without any signs of fatigue or cramps. While some battled to cover the distance and needed to be transported back to the starting point, Ms Ntamo had no such difficulties.

From as early as 7am, the seniors started gathering at Sinovuyo to take part in the event, which was aimed at encouraging them to exercise and live a healthy lifestyle. It took one and a half hours for the senior citizens to finish the fun walk.

Through the event, organisers also hoped to provide an opportunity for these vulnerable members of the community to have leisure time to de-stress and take their attention away from the harsh challenges of life.

Pensioners were urged to prioritise their health and to be mindful of what they ate. Speakers said senior citizens were often neglected and abused by their children and grandchildren.

Patricia Ophile, secretary of Sinovuyo, said she was grateful for the support they had received from a company which had donated loaves of bread as well as money.

“We are grateful and we now know that senior citizens are appreciated and their dignity is being restored. We hope that we will continue to receive this support and make the lives of these vulnerable people better. We need continuous support from everyone in order to keep their doors open,” she said.

Ms Ntamo said she was grateful to have been part of the walk. She pointed out that at times she wanted to stop walking but she believed that she had the strength to finish.

She said seniors often suffered many hardships and had little or no time at all to exercise.

“This is what we need as senior citizens. We worry too much about other people’s health issues and by doing so we compromise our own health,” she said.